Multi-Step Treatment Programs for Substance Abuse Treatment in Florida

Thousands of people in Florida suffer everyday from the chronic disease of addiction. It’s a disease that comes with a lot of social stigma attached to it. It’s the kind of disease that though manageable, it does not have a cure. However, if not treated and managed, drug and alcohol addiction likely ends in death. Whether the person’s death occurs over time due to persistent substance abuse that deteriorates various body functions and systems, or whether the death is due to a sudden overdose, untreated addiction will almost definitely lead to fatality.

When someone realizes that they suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction, and first begins to understand that they have a problem, the initial step to quit drinking or using their substance of choice must be to admit that the way they are using drugs and alcohol is not only an unhealthy substance abuse but, even more problematic, it is likely a chemical dependency and substance addiction on a far deeper level than misuse.


After admitting to themselves that they likely have developed a substance use disorder, in order to continue tip toeing toward recovery, the addict should start by speaking to their family or friends about their addiction. Externalizing the truth of their addiction in this way rectifies in their own mind what they already know and makes the truth of their addiction more real. If an addiction isn’t real and present in the addict’s mind, tangible to the person struggling with addiction, it will be impossible to benefit from any sort of treatment program. Talking with friends and family about addiction is intimidating due to the social stigma attached to addiction. It may seem scary to speak with loved ones about addiction and doing so, in all honesty, may result in some judgement depending on the person the addict approaches.

The best thing for an addict to do to safeguard against negative backlash which could lead them away from the progress they are already making,and deliver them back into the arms of solid addiction, is to speak with the friends and family they trust the most in order to find their support structure and ask for help seeking treatment. The people that the person struggling with addiction know will be their foundation until they can rebuild their own because they are trusted and loved friends and family who have shown themselves to be truly compassionate and loving. These will be the people whom the addict can trust to be a source of care and help throughout their addiction recovery.


The next step for the person struggling with substance abuse is to locate substance abuse treatment. Florida has many options for treatment. Some important things for an addict to remember when researching recovery programs is that the best treatment programs will shape the addict’s addiction recovery plan to fit their specific individual needs. No matter what kind of plan the addict ends up choosing, the very first step of any chemical dependency and drug or alcohol addiction recovery program is always medically supervised detoxification.


Medically Supervised Alcohol Detox or Drug Detox at a South Florida Detox in Broward County

Even though detox seems pretty straight forward, attending a medically supervised detox program is a vital step to recovery for an addict. When looking at programs it may become overwhelming because treatment programs are so varied and open to the unique aspects of what the addict is bringing as far as need and history goes. Though it may seem like too much, it is important to remember that even when talking about the somewhat straightforward nature of detox, every body will experience withdrawal symptoms differently. Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the substance that created the chemical dependency in question. But more specific to the persons struggling with the disease, symptoms will vary depending on how much of it a substance the person was taking habitually before going to detox, what kind of shape their body is in at the time of detox, along with other factors. Symptoms will range from moderate to severe depending on these factors. It is only under the close supervision of a medically licensed and qualified staff that anyone can be sure they are truly medically safe. Doing detox in a treatment center also raises the likelihood that a person will avoid relapse in the detox portion of recovery. Detox brings with it plenty of triggers and cravings. It is much harder to give into those if the addict knows someone is caring for them and has a stake in their recovery.


Residential Rehabilitation Treatment

Residential rehab programs are likely what someone is thinking of when they hear the word “rehab”. Many people find this aspect of recovery to simultaneously be the hardest and most beneficial time of addiction recovery. This phase is hard because in a residential rehab, the person is apart from their comfort zone. They leave their family and friends and spend time at a facility where there are others struggling with addictions just like they are, licensed clinicians who can monitor their physical wellbeing, and qualified therapists to help guide them to learning the life skills they need to rebuild their lives and start living a new sober life. Treatment in a facility  like this can last anywhere from 20 to 90 days, or longer for a few cases. Just like all things regarding addiction recovery treatment, length of treatment does depend on the person coming to treatment.


During rehab a person will start to do a deep investigation into addiction in general – learning about the way addiction changes the body, how the particular substance they were using changes the body and what kinds of long term effects the addict may be facing, depending on how long they were using the drug, and about the ins and outs of what brought them to the addiction. If the addict, for example, experienced trauma in the past they will have therapy available to them to understand how that very likely has contributed to their addiction. They will learn about what kinds of mental health disorders may be co-existing with their substance abuse to create a dual diagnosis, how the two co-occurring disorders feed off of one another, and the life skills necessary to deal with both disorders in the event of a trigger or craving.


Outpatient Continuing Aftercare and Relapse Prevention Therapy

Many people think about rehab as the last step in recovery. That is far from true. In fact rehab is only a small part of the recovery process. Rehab is there to teach you the foundational skills you need to move into something known as “active recovery”. Active recovery is hopefully where the addict will be for the remainder of their lives. Because addiction is incurable, active recovery is the state of being where a person struggling with alcohol or drug addiction has gone through detoxification and is clean from their substance, has gone through rehabilitation and is savvy when it comes to dealing with triggers and cravings, and is using the life skills they learned in rehab and continue to learn in outpatient care to manage the disease – maintaining control of their lives where as before treatment the addiction controlled their lives. Recovery for a drug addict or alcoholic never ends. There is always more to learn about oneself and there are always more skills to learn so that staying sober can become your habit, instead of the other way around.


An important aspect of sober living for an addict is after care. Continuing therapy after rehab is a vital way that addicts can be supported through the first few months of coming out of rehab. These are the most vulnerable for an addict. In order to prevent relapse during this time, one must take measures to safeguard against it intentionally and preemptively. One way to do this is to keep working with your rehab safety net through further outpatient treatment. Since you’ve been with the community through detox and rehab there will be an element of safety and kinship that can make these first vulnerable months  more bearable.

Not only that but in this time an addict will likely experience triggers they weren’t ready for, continuing group therapy, individual therapy and even joining a 12 step program can be a source of support and good ideas. Working with fellow addicts who are farther along in their recovery journey can bring a type of knowledge that few other resources can match. Making sure to continue taking an active role in their own recovery by setting up relapse prevention aftercare will bring an addict’s likelihood of continuing to live a sober life way up. Recovery doesn’t end after rehab, in fact it doesn’t end at all.


Florida Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment


At 1st Step Behavioral Health a person struggling with addiction can pick from a myriad of different drug or alcohol addiction recovery treatments available to them so a multi-step treatment plan can be made that addresses each aspect of struggle and need that is unique to each addict. Variety of treatment can range from outpatient to inpatient detox and rehab, long term and shorter stays in a rehab programs, different forms of therapy available, etc. 1st Step also has substance specific recovery treatment options such as specific alcohol rehab, or our heroin drug treatment. Broward county drug rehab at 1st Step Behavioral Health is your first step to recovery, no matter what your addiction is and no matter where you’re coming from.

Call now to learn more about how the rehab programs available at 1st Step can work for you or a loved one.

The Dangerous Dual Diagnosis

A dual diagnosis is nothing to ignore. Depression, Bipolar Disorder, etc can all be dangerous catalysts for a chemical dependency and substance abuse can also drive mental health disorders.


Mental Health Disorders Commonly Co-Occurring with Substance Abuse

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Personality Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a dual diagnosis, which is also called a co-occuring disorder, is defined as someone struggling with both a drug or alcohol addiction and a mental illness of some kind at the same time. It doesn’t matter which one comes first. It could be that someone’s depression or anxiety drove them to drink heavily or start using opioids, it could be that a person’s persistent use of drugs caused them to develop and foster a deep depression. Either way, one disorder may drive the other and vise versa.


Once someone suffers from both chemical dependency and a mental health disorder at once, it is virtually impossible to recover from either disorder without treating both simultaneously. This is why most quality addiction treatment centers offer various kinds of therapy for people with co-occurring disorders, and why it is so vital that the treatment center taylors each patient’s drug and alcohol rehab to the unique set of circumstances each person comes from. Without this attention to patient detail, success rates are low.


Integrated Intervention, The Best Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

National Alliance on Mental Health recommends a treatment of Integrated Intervention for an effective means of recovery for those suffering with dual diagnosis. Integrated Intervention simply means addressing both disorders at once, within the same treatment. For some time the attitude behind treatment for co-occurring disorders, was that you couldn’t treat mental health issues while someone continued using. Doctors would refuse to treat one due to the other. But as science learns more about mental health and about substance abuse, the trends are changing and people are beginning to realize dual diagnosis requires an integrated method of treatment.

The progression of treatment is vital to successful sober living. When a South Florida patient with dual diagnosis seeks treatment they should start with detox in Broward county and then move forward to a Broward county drug rehab, and then they should end their formal recovery treatment with aftercare, focusing on relapse prevention. You cannot progress through treatment in any other trajectory. If you don’t start with detox, move through the therapies of rehab to the programs of aftercare, you won’t have the foundation necessary to start your new way of living.

Someone who is suffering from dual diagnosis and seeking out integrated intervention through substance abuse treatment in Florida should consider 1st Step Behavioral Help. We know how vital your mental health is in the fight for sobriety. Call us now to learn more about our programs and how we can help support both sides of a dual diagnosis.


Finding The Therapy That Helps You Thrive Through Substance Abuse Recovery

Chemical dependency on any addictive substance is usually, though not always, tied to some kind of co-occurring disorder like bipolar disorder or chronic depression and anxiety. The two disorders gode each other along, making it impossible to get clean or mentally fit without treating both afflictions. At our residential detox facility our medically qualified staff can help you get free from chemical dependency and through our South Florida rehab center you can get substance abuse treatment including therapeutic services.


There are so many different kinds of therapy to choose from that it’s hard to really know which route to take. Let’s take a look at some of the types of therapy you may encounter either at our South Florida rehab center or as you continue your recovery at home with your own therapist.


Common Types of Therapy

Psychoanalysis – An analytic form of therapy meant to draw conclusions and patterns from a stream of consciousness from the client, sometimes referred to as “talk therapy”.

Cognitive or Dialectic Behavioral Therapies – A kind of therapy that gives you homework! Behavioral therapies are educational in nature and teach you concrete ways to alter the strategies you use to manage your emotions. The process is often presented as an actual class with workbooks and homework.

Mindfulness – Mindfulness therapy is meant to connect your physical and mental selves via mediation intentional living.

Creative Therapy – The variety of creative therapies can almost overwhelm. Visual art therapy, Drama, Dance, Creative Writing therapy are just a few.

Integrative Therapies – Some therapists employ a number of different aspects of these different strategies to craft an integrative therapy plan for each individual.



How Do I Know What’s Best For Me?

It’s hard enough to find a therapist but with the different ways people do therapy diversifying every day, it can be overwhelming to pick a therapy method. If you are struggling with chemical dependency on an addictive substance your first course of action needs to be calling our South Florida residential detox center. When you go to therapy there will be group and individual therapies that you can experience and that will inform you understanding of what types of strategies work best for you. If you are out of treatment and starting to rebuild your life, consider interviewing a couple of different therapists from the methods you are considering. If you still can’t decide what works best for you, consider seeing someone who uses an integrative method.


Chemical Dependency and Withdrawal From Tranquilizers

Even though they have been the drug of choice for past generations, you don’t usually think of tranquilizers these days when you are considering the chemical dependency and drug or alcohol abuse epidemic happening in this country. We mostly hear more about alcohol addiction, and opioid addiction but people are still struggling with tranquilizer addiction among other intoxicating substances. Tranquilizers were especially popular in the 1950’s and many people found themselves addicted due to their widespread availability. These days, like opioids, people may be getting their first taste of tranquilizers via prescription medication. The heartbreaker is that major tranquilizers are used as antipsychotic medication to treat people with mental illness, a group of people far more likely to become chemically dependant on a mind altering medications. If you are reading this article and you are abusing prescription or illicit tranquilizers you can get help. First Step’s residential detox and South Florida rehab centers have programs that can help you get free from chemical dependency and can teach you the building blocks of a health and sober life.

What Are The Effects of Tranquilizers?

Tranquilizers are used to relax the body’s systems. They accomplish providing their taker with a sense of calm by slowing down physical and mental function. The chemical substance can help offer the taker a desperately needed sense of calm and, through that calm, a relief from anxiety. Depending on the form of tranquilizer and the strength of the dose, the drug may even induce sleep.


Commonly Used Tranquilizers

  • Butalbital
  • Talbutal
  • Estazolam
  • Temazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Mephobarbital
  • Lorazepam
  • Allobarbital
  • Acepromazine

Withdrawal From Tranquilizers

Like any chemical dependency, it is clinically dangerous for a person addicted to tranquilizers to go through detoxification without a qualified medical staff monitoring their progress through detox and the safety and wellbeing of both their physical and psychological well being. The side effects of tranquilizer withdrawal can vary depending on the length of time a patient took the drug, as well as the dose they were administering to themselves.


Withdrawal Symptoms May Include

  • Unsteady coordination
  • Slowing down of the respiratory system
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Seizure
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slurred Speech
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low Energy
  • Agitation


Tranquilizers can be very dangerous because as the person addicted to them, you are looking for an effect of relaxation or calm, but as your tolerance builds, and you need more and more of the drug to feel the effects desired, your mental and physical systems take an even bigger hit. As someone takes more and more of the substance it can eventually slow down the  Call us now at 1st Step Behavioral Health and find out about our substance abuse treatment in Florida.

What Does It Mean To Take Responsibility For Your Relapse?

You’ve relapsed. After having crawled your way up from the bottom depths of addiction to ask for help with your substance abuse and chemical dependency, you sought out substance abuse treatment in Florida. You made it through detox in broward county and drug rehab in Ft. Lauderdale. You worked tirelessly toward your sobriety and now you are relapsed. You very well may be feeling hopeless and broken. Know this, you still very much deserve a happy, healthy, sober life. Nothing can change that. Addiction is a disease that doesn’t go away just because you went through detox and rehab. You have to manage it every day. Resist the self hatred and self pity you might be feeling drawn to, as all addicts are drawn there at least briefly. Instead take responsibility for your relapse and for the way you deal with triggering moments.

Make A Plan

Your first order of business in taking responsibility for your relapse needs to be to make sure you’re working with a therapist who specializes in drug and alcohol chemical dependency who can guide you through untying the intricate story leading to your addiction. Understanding this narrative is vital to succeeding at recovery. As you begin to understand your triggers you will be better able to process your relapse when in therapy and in your everyday life.


In therapy and in your everyday after you’ve made some progress toward processing your relapse, understanding your triggers better and shoring up your coping skills and emotional resilience, you need to make a plan to have at the ready in future critical moments that could lead to relapse. Having a plan at the ready will greatly reduce risk of relapse and likely also reduce anxiety and fear of relapse


Concrete Steps to Getting Back On Track

Now you’ve got a plan, so what’s next? What are a few other ways besides your therapy that you can make strides to get back on track.


  1. Be open and communicative with your friends and family about the relapse and your plan for the future.
  2. Pay close attention to self care. Make sure your nutrition and sleep are on point and that you’re well hydrated.
  3. Don’t take on more than you can handle right now. But don’t let yourself get stagnant either. Listen to your body and pay attention to energy levels. Let yourself rest when you need to.
  4. Call the Broward County 1st Step in Ft. Lauderdale to learn more about the programs there and how they can help you come back to sober and maintain healthy living.

Make Your Life Your Masterpiece

Do you ever think that you know who you are inside, but you just can’t be who you want to be? You just can’t make the changes. Maybe as you were going through substance abuse treatment at a Broward County drug rehab you started to see more clearly the shape of yourself but you don’t know how to implement it. You might have a hard time believing that you could ever make the person in your mind be the person you show the world. I’m here to tell you that your life is a never ending project, but that’s not actually a bad thing. And you have everything inside of you to make the person you are evident on the outside.


A Brilliant College of Intentional Choices

Think about how wonderful it is that you get to care for yourself actively, forever. You, and no one else, have the authority to do whatever you want to make yourself a beautiful sculpture, and you get to decide what “beautiful” means. You are your own canvas or clay, you pick the analogy, and you can put brush strokes or clay, or magazine cuttings anywhere you want to.


Sobriety Opens Up The Space

You may have not been functional enough to try to sculpt any part of who you were before you went through treatment. But sobriety opens up a setting, where there wasn’t one before, where you can safely construct who you want to be. You can’t do it all at once. No one can. It can be frustrating to not be able to snap your fingers and be who you want to be this minute, but as your sobriety progresses and your healing too, you’ll find that you are able to shift and change more readily because you’re used to doing it. You are working hard and the more you work at something, often, the better and more efficient you become. This is also true when it comes to self reflection and self honesty. It’s hard but you get better as you go, I promise.


Because we are a composite of everything and everyone we have encountered and experienced, it can feel overwhelming to pay attention to the way you’re directing your own development. How do you keep track of every single thing? You don’t. You can’t. But you can pick and choose which parts you want to work on individually, and as you meet goals or milestones, you can add other parts of the project. Maybe this month you’re working on feeling intentionally grateful. Maybe next month you’ll work on staying calm in traffic. Maybe the month after that you’ll feel safe quitting smoking.  Take the picture of yourself in your minds eye, that inspiration from your brain, and create that person. Be your own muse. Realize your own future and do it in the way that you intentionally choose to do.


What To Do with Yourself After Rehab

Sometimes it can be scary to leave rehab, like our Drug Rehab in Ft. Lauderdale where there’s a vibrant community of genuine people all seeking a healthy and sober life. Not to mention the fact that at rehab you had a schedule and purpose. Now it might seem like you’re stuck at home, separate from the sober community you know and from the common trajectory you had with them. Leaving for home from a place of this kind of solidarity would be hard for anyone. There’s a lot you can do when leaving rehab to bolster your success at living a sober life. Here are a couple of ideas, if you’re back home and you don’t know what to do with yourself.


Learn a New Skill

Seeking out new skills can both build your confidence and exercise your brain. Think about it, are there any activities that you enjoy doing but that you haven’t really pursued to their full potential? Maybe in the past you enjoyed running as a form of exercise. Consider doing some research. Pay attention to how you’re training and improve your form, your diet, and when you run. Maybe even try a 5k, or some day a marathon!


Pick Up a Hobby

Are you the DIY type? Try something new! Maybe you’ve always wanted to reupholster furniture. Go ahead, give it a try. What do you have to lose? Not much, but you’ve got a whole lot to gain! It’s true that trying something new can help you start to feel human again. Doing and failing or succeeding is such a very human activity that there’s little to do but connect with your good instincts and tenacity. Enjoy being resourceful and using your ingenuity.


The most important way to ensure your success when you get home from rehab is to allow yourself to fail and succeed. Be open to a real human experience. Remember that this includes falling down occasionally. Just remember to have compassion for yourself and be ready to deal with failure with some self care and acceptance. That’s what it looks like to get back up again.


If you, or anyone else you know, are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction please contact us at our South Florida alcohol treatment center and Drug Rehab in Ft Lauderdale Florida. (866) 319-6126


Is Your Pride Standing in the Way of Your Recovery?

Here are four ways that your pride may be getting in the way of your recovery. To get better, you need to be aware of these issues and check them.


Recognizing that you have a problem

Denial is the step most people stay at. They refuse to recognize that they have a problem, even when it’s staring them in the face. Especially when it’s staring them in the face. Often, by remaining in denial, they continue to turn to the substances and dependencies which make their problem worse.


Recognizing you can’t recover alone

Recovery works best when we have input and advice from other people. They can see things about us that we might not see–or are trying not to see. Also, it is easier to give someone else advice than to give that advice to ourselves. Working in support groups and with therapists can make a big difference.


Recognizing that you have to be vulnerable

It can be hard for some people to admit the truth. It can be hard to open up and tell our truths to others. And, it can be hard for some people to cry, which may be an important release. Sometimes it can be hard to trust others, but recovery demands vulnerability so it’s important to find people you can trust to be there with you in your recovery.


Recognizing that help may not come in the form that you want it to

We try to remain in control all the time. But the fact is that we need to give up some control to recover. We need to realize that many of the ways we’ve been leading our lives needs to be readjusted to help get us into a better place.


There are substance abuse treatment centers in Florida that can help you achieve your recovery, whatever you’re facing. But you have to put your pride aside. For help getting started, please call (866) 319-6126.

The Symptoms of Substance Abuse and Addiction

One of the biggest problems people with substance abuse and addiction face is denial. Sometimes this denial is wishful thinking, other times it is a lack of awareness.

Warning Signs and Symptoms

There are many experiences shared by those abusing substances and addicted to them, but everyone has their own unique story. If you feel that you, a friend, or a loved one is addicted, don’t hesitate to speak up—it might save a life!


Here are just a few of many possible warning signs:

  • The inability to control how much or how often alcohol or a substance is consumed, no matter how negative the consequences
  • Spending money on alcohol or a substance when you can’t afford necessities of life
  • Constant thinking about the substance and neglecting other activities
  • A family history of addiction
  • Increased tolerance to the substance
  • Withdrawal when you go off it
  • Deteriorating hygiene
  • A change in physical appearance
  • Secrecy about your use of the substance
  • Relationship problems with family, romantic partners, work, and self
  • The feeling that you need a “fix” at the end of a rough day

What To Do If You Experience These

The good news is that an addiction doesn’t have to be the end of a story. By being aware that you may have a problem, and realizing you do not have to be alone in this experience, there is help available.

If you, or a loved one, relate to that list, here are some things that can be done:

  • Develop a new routine, perhaps going for a walk or something you enjoy after work
  • Exercise
  • Allow yourself honest and vulnerable discussion with a trusted friend
  • Start a hobby that you can enjoy without the substance
  • Find a group of friends who do not drink but whose company you enjoy
  • Call us at (866) 319-6126 to talk with understanding people about your options.

Self Care During Recovery

Recovery from addiction is a lifelong practice that can be found to be draining at times. The constant psychological and physical toll that fighting one’s urges takes can wear one down, making an addict more at risk of relapse. While many feel guilty when providing self care, remember that it is imperative to a rewarding recovery. Taking time to ensure that one feels safe, whole, complete, and content during recovery is of great importance and can make the road to recovery considerably more successful.


Basic Human Needs

Rehabilitation is such a large and all encompassing act that many addicts forget to take care of their most basic needs. To heal psychologically the body must also be adequately cared for to thrive.

  • Sleep– be sure to get plenty of sleep. Try to keep a regular and consistent sleep and wake schedule to reap the most benefits.
  • Eat– eat regularly and choose healthy, balanced, nutritious meals. Skipping meals can lead to overeating and discomfort later.
  • Exercise– spend time doing an activity you like; a trail hike, walk around the neighborhood, gardening, or playing with dogs at an animal shelter are all great ways to boost a mood while maintaining an active lifestyle.
  • Hygiene– bathe or shower regularly. It may seem trying at times, but one always feels better after showering. Brush and floss, wash your hands, and take care of your body.


Psychological Needs

An addict cannot be successful in recovery without taking care of their psyche. So much of addiction is in the brain and psychological and it is important to ensure these aspects are cared for as well.

  • Keep appointments– with your doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, or counselor.
  • Take your medicine– as it is prescribed, and tell a health professional if you are having any side effects or you feel at risk of abusing your medications. Refill your medication on time to avoid missing a dose.
  • Practice acceptance– understand that some things are beyond your control and let them go. Don’t engage in negative reaffirmations. Focus on the positive.
  • Do something you love– watch a favorite movie, read a great book, explore a new coffee shop, or engage in a creative art.


Self Care Success

Share your self care plans with others for accountability and to ensure success. This will also let people know that a sober lifestyle is important to you. Once self care becomes second nature it will be easy to recognize that it makes the road to recovery less daunting and far more rewarding.

For additional information regarding inpatient, outpatient, and other forms of substance abuse treatment in Florida, contact us today